Emerging Technology Trends in Commercial Real Estate 2018

Author: Trainor Fairbrook

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Trainor Fairbrook sponsored the  Sacramento Association of Realtors Commercial Division’s event, Emerging Technology Trends in Commercial Real Estate, on August 28, 2018, at the Sutter Club. The panel shared some of the technology trends they are seeing within the commercial real estate and development industries.

Here are the highlights:

Nils Blomquist, the business unit leader at DPR Construction, discussed how modeling software is helping the firm with tenant improvements. The technology allows someone to click on an interactive virtual model, for example, and know specifics down to the manufacturer and price of a light fixture, he said.



Infill developer Julie Young of Urban Elements said she’s relying on technology and past experience to develop 2417 J St., a mixed-use project of 12 for-sale residential units above ground-floor retail space.



Heather Kampa, of HGA Architects, spoke about using virtual reality in her work. VR headsets can simulate what a disabled person, older person or person with limited vision or hearing might experience traveling through a virtual office. That allows office designers to be more mindful of all future users, she said. View her presentation here.



Dan Henderson, regional manager for geographic technology firm ESRI, said advances in mapping allow greater insight to a potential land investor.  Software can show zoning, infrastructure, surroundings and nearby projects successfully completed in a particular area, he said, while another map can overlay office space on a photo to show availability, pricing and more in a building or series of buildings. Dan’s presentation is available here.


Drones are becoming increasingly useful for commercial real estate applications, said Dan Allwardt of KPFF Consulting Engineers. Engineers use them to look at conditions in hard-to-reach places for existing infrastructure, as well as for surveying, he said. Another virtual reality application allows images of a future project to be loaded into a phone or headset, where a user can then see what the development will look like at the actual project site.


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